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Bipolar Caps in audio equipment

Discussion in 'Audio' started by PTaylor, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. PTaylor

    PTaylor

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    0
    Jan 26, 2013
    Hi, I have a question pertaining to Bipolar capacitors.
    Quick history:
    I recently was given a couple of nice quality speakers my a musician. One speaker no longer functioned. I took it apart and found that a capacitor in the cross over was damaged, typical capacitor swell. Nothing else seems to be messed up. My plan was to replace the cap but I learned this was a bipolar cap. 6.8uF @ 100WV.

    This has been a hard one to find to replace at typical places like Digikey, Newark, Mouser, and a few others. I think the closest thing I could find was a 3.3uF @ 100V and was planning on wiring two in parallel.

    At first, I was thinking of doing two polarized electrolytics in series, say 22uF and 10uF for a 6.8uF, but I could find no definite answer on if this was a good idea or not. Than I read that a person could attach, say the two negative leads in series, and attach the positive leads to the circuit and make a bipolar cap.

    Again, there were many pros and cons on doing such a thing, not regarding the obvious difference in voltages drops across each device.

    I considered using some other type of cap, but wasn't sure about ESR and a few other ratings that wouldn't match up.


    Anyway, I'd like some feedback from others on what they think....


    Also, I do know the name of the company that makes the cap, and may contact them at some point to see about an exact replacement, but the toss up right now is to try and build a bipolar cap with parts I currently have or order the 3.3u @ 100V and wire them in parallel.
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    A bipolar electrolytic capacitor is basically two capacitors back to back. You can build that yourself from two single capacitors.

    Read this thread for some more info.
     
  3. DuctDuck

    DuctDuck

    52
    0
    Jan 26, 2013
    You are on the right path. Parallel capacitors will increase capacitance, but in series capacitance decreases yet the working voltage increases when you connect them correctly (e.g.- 2 200WV caps become 1 400WV cap).

    S'cuse me Harald, are these bipolar caps for AC levels or electrolytic for DC?
     
  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    You need bipolar electrolytic caps for AC. For DC a standard capacitor will do.
     
  5. DuctDuck

    DuctDuck

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    0
    Jan 26, 2013
    Those aren't refd as NPO (non-polarized)?
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,448
    2,809
    Jan 21, 2010
    NP0 is a dielectric used in a capacitor.

    Capacitors care either non-polarized, polarized, or (a special case of polarized), bipolar.
     
  7. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    10,771
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    Nov 17, 2011
    That's not NPO )O=oh) but NP0 (0=zero) -> negative positive zero
    Follow Steve's link.
     
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